And then there were two.
The Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins are the last two teams without a win on the 2019 season, as the New York Jets got their first Sunday evening, beating the Dallas Cowboys 24-22. The Jets held off a second-half surge from the Cowboys, as well as six consecutive penalty flags in the closing minutes — a couple of them suspect.
On the first snap after the two-minute warning, Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott made a third-and-8 pass to Michael Gallup, and Jets corner Darryl Roberts was flagged for pass interference. The 13-yard penalty put Dallas into Jets territory with a fresh set of downs.
Two more penalties against New York followed, then a holding call on Dallas’ Connor Williams, which put the Cowboys in first-and-20. That became first-and-27 when a block-in-the-back flag was thrown on Gallup. There was one more flag on New York — pass interference against Jamal Adams that left the safety shaking his head.
In all, there were 17 penalties called in the game.
Four plays after the spree of flags, Prescott scored from 4 yards out to put the score at 24-22, but the game-tying 2-point conversion failed.
After a stressful moment, when Demaryius Thomas nearly lost the onside kick, the Jets kneeled out the clock for the first victory of Adam Gase’s tenure as head coach.
Sam Darnold solid in return
It was the first game back for second-year quarterback Sam Darnold, who missed four weeks due to mononucleosis and the accompanying spleen swelling.
Darnold completed over 70 percent of his passes, 23-for-32, for 338 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
New York was up 21-3 with 27 seconds left in the half after a Darnold touchdown to tight end Ryan Griffin. The highlight of the game for New York came a few minutes earlier.
The defense pushed Dallas backward on back-to-back plays, knocking Ezekiel Elliott back a yard on third-and-1, and then stuffing Prescott on fourth-and-2 from the Jets’ 7.
The Jets’ offense took over from its 8-yard line and Darnold threw a deep ball to Robby Anderson, who caught the ball near the 50 and ran it in the rest of the way for a 92-yard touchdown. It was the longest play of this NFL season and the second-longest offensive play in franchise history.
What’s up with Dallas?
It’s the third straight loss for Dallas, which went from 3-0 to 3-3 quickly. The Cowboys were without both of their starting offensive tackles against New York, but they were better than the Jets in pretty much every category: first downs (26 to 20), third downs (59 percent to just 20 percent), total yards (398 to 382) and time of possession (32:03 to 27:57). Just not the only category that mattered: the final score.
On its first possession of the second half, Dallas stalled inside the red zone and had to settle for a field goal. On the next possession kicker Brett Maher missed a 40-yard attempt.
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